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1986: Caribana celebrates Caribbean culture

The Story


It's a sight for sore eyes in the sometimes "stick-in-the-mud" city of Toronto. Thousands of people throng University Avenue for the 20th annual Caribana parade. Vibrant colours, eclectic music and tireless dancers of every size, shape and colour celebrate the brilliant annual festival of West Indian culture. As costumes twirl down the avenue and the beats get hips swaying all around, this 1986 CBC Television clip catches a glimpse of "a lovely mix of people all enjoying it together."

Medium: Television
Program: Newshour
Broadcast Date: Aug. 2, 1986
Guest: Lily Munro
Reporter: Georgie Binks
Duration: 2:14

Did You know?


• Caribana began in Toronto in 1967 as part of the West Indian community's celebration of Canada's centennial year. The first parade kicked off outside Varsity Stadium on Bloor St. and made its way down Yonge St. The mile-long procession boasted 1,000 participants and five calypso bands. Other festivities transformed Centre Island into a Caribbean paradise, featuring such events as stage shows, dancing until midnight, a teenage fashion show and a cricket match.

• According to the Toronto Star, the parade featured in this 1986 clip featured 6,000 participants dancing their way through the streets of Toronto to the delight of more than 275,000 onlookers.

• The Caribana festival runs for two weeks every summer, leading up to a massive parade held on Lakeshore Blvd. on the first weekend in August. Caribana now welcomes over 1 million people from around the world to Toronto and puts more than $300 million into the local economy annually.


Also on August 2:

• 1610: Aboard the Discovery, Henry Hudson and his crew, enters what would later be named Hudson Bay. He thought it was the Pacific Ocean.
• 1892: Movie mogul Jack L. Warner is born in London, Ont. He and his three brothers form Warner Bros. Studios in 1917, which produces the first movie with sound, called The Jazz Singer.
• 1992: Canadian rower Silken Laumann wins the women's single sculls bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics, less than three months after her right leg was seriously damaged in an accident during a competition in Germany.


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